Failure to Allege Infringing Acts in the US Dooms Claims Arising From Alleged Copyright Infringement at Hong Kong Trade Show

The World in U.S. Courts: Fall 2017 - Intellectual Property – Copyright

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International Diamond Importers, Inc. d/b/a I.D.I. Design, Inc. v. Med Art, Inc., US District Court for the Southern District of New York, June 29, 2017

International Diamond Importers (IDI) is a New York-based designer, manufacturer, and seller of jewelry that enjoys trademark and copyright protection. The defendants—a New York Corporation, a Turkish Corporation, and the Turkish citizen who serves as CEO of both companies—were alleged to have infringed that IP in connection with similar jewelry sold in 2016 at an international jewelry fair in Hong Kong attended by New York buyers.

After finding that it had personal jurisdiction over all the defendants, the Court addressed the plaintiff’s infringement claims. It noted that the US Copyright Act had no extraterritorial applicability, but that an exception exists where actions in the US constituted copyright infringement and enabled further violations to occur in other countries. In the case at bar, no such US conduct was alleged, and the claim of copyright infringement was dismissed. The Court found irrelevant that the defendants may have targeted US retailers and consumers.

[Editor’s note: The IDI case is also discussed in the Intellectual Property – Trademarks/Lanham Act and Personal Jurisdiction sections of this report.]

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